Preview: De Gea could be key to victory over Hammers? Rashford to get 30th goal? Fernandes the inspiration?

West Ham United -v- Manchester United

Premier League

London Stadium, London

Sunday 7 May 2023, KO 19:00 BST

Manchester United face West Ham United at the London Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday evening seeking to overcome their last-minute defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on Thursday evening. It looked destined to be a 0-0 draw but a late penalty conceded by Luke Shaw saw Alexis Mac Allister bury the spot kick into the back of the net with Brighton looking to reach European football next season. United could be two or three wins away from confirming their place.

West Ham have not been in great form recently – losing their last three matches against Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Manchester City. It has put them back into a possible relegation battle just four points away from the relegation zone. However, the likelihood is that the relegation candidates are the five teams below them; Leicester City, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Everton and Southampton – unless the Hammer’s continued to lose – which is a distinct possibility.

United under Erik ten Hag this season has been a massive positive compared to last season. There has been a massive rise on competitiveness but at this stage of the season, there is a lot of fatigue and injury in the squad which has all come at the wrong time. But that is what happens in this game and United are not the only club suffering that at this stage of the season. It is a clear indication that better players must be sought in the summer with fringe players leaving.

Manchester United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 L, Aston Villa 1-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 D, Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 (7-6) W, Sevilla 3-0 L, Nottingham Forest 2-0 W

Goals: 29 – Marcus Rashford, 11 – Bruno Fernandes, 8 – Antony, 7 – Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho, 6 – Fred, 5 – Casemiro, Own Goal, 4 – Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Scott McTominay, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcel Sabitzer, 2 – Diogo Dalot, Christian Eriksen, Wout Weghorst, 1 – Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw

Assists: 12 – Bruno Fernandes, 9 – Christian Eriksen, Marcus Rashford, 6 – Casemiro, Luke Shaw, 5 – Fred, 4 – Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Anthony Martial, Wout Weghorst, 2 – Antony, Diogo Dalot, Anthony Elanga, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, 1 – Scott McTominay, Facundo Pellistri, Marcel Sabitzer, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

West Ham United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Manchester City 3-0 L, Crystal Palace 4-3 L, Liverpool 2-1 L, Bournemouth 4-0 W, AA Gent 4-1 W, Arsenal 2-2 D

Goals: 12 – Michail Antonio, 10 – Jarrod Bowen, 8 – Saïd Benrahma, 6 – Gianluca Scamacca, 5 – Pablo Fornals, Lucas Paquetá, 4 – Declan Rice, 3 – Danny Ings, 2 – Nayef Aguerd, Emerson, Manuel Lanzini, Tomás Soucek, Kurt Zouma, 1 – Craig Dawson, Divin Mubama

Assists: 6 – Jarrod Bowen, 5 – Lucas Paquetá, Tomás Soucek, 4 – Michail Antonio, Saïd Benrahma, Declan Rice, 3 – Aaron Cresswell, 2 – Emerson, Pablo Fornals, Thilo Kehrer, 1 – Maxwel Cornet, Vladimír Coufal, Ben Johnson, Manuel Lanzini

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and West Ham have met 53 times in the Premier League. United have won 33 times drawing 13 times and lost seven times. United have scored 103 goals, winning five penalties, scoring four. West Ham have scored 46 goals, won four penalties, scoring three. United have kept 21 clean sheets with West Ham keeping seven. Discipline is an issue with United players shown 64 yellow cards and four red cards. West Ham players have been shown 76 yellow cards and two red cards.

United have a good record against West Ham, winning seven, drawing once and losing twice in their last ten matches in all competitions. Since their last defeat, United have won three times; twice with 1-0 scorelines and once with a 3-1 scoreline. Marcus Rashford was the scorer in both 1-0 wins and in the 3-1 victory, which came in the Emirates FA Cup this season, an own goal plus goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Fred sealed the victory for FA Cup finalists United.

Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Teddy Sheringham, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Tevez, Roy Carroll, David Bellion, Jonathan Spector, Ravel Morrison and Jesse Lingard have all played for both clubs and probably more in the not too distant past. David Moyes managed United. Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Sheringham, Hernandez and Tevez are perhaps the more successful and well-known players to have played for both clubs – Morrison the biggest failure.

Team News

Lisandro Martinez (ankle/foot), Donny van de Beek (knee), Scott McTominay (other), Raphael Varane (ankle/foot) and Tom Heaton (ankle) have all been ruled out for the clash against the Hammer’s on Sunday evening. Alejandro Garnacho (ankle) has been out of action for a while but has returned to training. He has not been ruled out of this match but is a doubt. Ten Hag feels that he will need to check his progress in the training sessions ahead of Sunday’s match.

Raphael Varane was previously expected to be available ahead of the Emirates FA Cup final against Manchester City next month. However, he seems to be progressing in his recover and could be back in action later this month. Obviously, United will need to be cautious of his recovery and ensure that no further injury could come of it should he come back early. Christian Eriksen was rested in the defeat to Brighton, so he should be fit for Sunday’s match.

Vladimir Coufal (thigh), Kurt Zouma (ankle) and Gianluca Scamacca (knee) are all ruled off of the clash with United on Sunday due to injury. Tomas Soucek, Nayef Aguerd and Declan Rice all missed the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City with Gastroenteritis but should be fit to face United on Sunday. It will be important that Moyes has his full squad available as the Hammers are still not safe from relegation at this stage of the season – just four points from the relegation zone.

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Shaw, Dalot;

Casemiro, Eriksen;

Antony, Fernandes, Sancho;

Rashford

Predicted West Ham United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

Fabianski;

Johnson, Aguerd, Kehrer, Cresswell;

Soucek, Rice;

Bowen, Paqueta, Fornals;

Antonio

Match Prediction

United played well against Brighton on Thursday evening and had a fair few chances. However, Luke Shaw seems to have been made the scape goat despite the forward players unable to bury their chances into the back of the net. United need to ensure they can score goals. Three goals have been scored in the last three matches – also conceding three, which is a major problem. United need to be creating and burying the chances in each mat to reach their objectives.

In the last ten matches against West Ham, United have won seven, drawn once and lost twice. United have won the last three since their last defeat. It is some good form for United against the Hammers and something that the club should defend and aim to extend. It all depends on what happens in the match. United’s midfield wavered against Brighton on Thursday in the second half and Brighton then had the advantage – winning a late penalty to win the match.

Ten Hag will need to get his tactics right. There had been a lot of frustration from some United players in the past few matches and they will need to keep their heads in order to succeed in what they need to achieve this season. Marcus Rashford is seeking his 30th goal this season in all competitions and he should make sure he gets it. As for United other attacking players – they will need to step up to the plate and ensure they are not casualties in the summer.

West Ham United 1-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker


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About editor 2163 Articles
I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.